Puttshack, the world’s only upscale, tech-infused mini golf experience with global food and drink, announced new key appointments to drive the development and growth of the brand globally. Chris Rockwood, Keith Strew, Ben Shepherd and Shannon Silva come to Puttshack after distinguished careers as leaders across hospitality operations, training, technology and innovation.
“These additions to our leadership and management team brings a wealth of experience leading exceptional hospitality operations and innovative tech-driven initiatives that will continue to place Puttshack as a leader in social entertainment,” says Joe Vrankin, Puttshack CEO. “We will expand Puttshack to 11 new locations through 2023, two of which will open this summer. The addition of Chris, Keith, Ben and Shannon joining our team will pave the path in our expansion plans as we continue to blow away our guests with our unique tech-infused mini golf experience.”
Chris Rockwood joins Puttshack as U.S. Chief Operating Officer, where he is responsible for overall operations and new venue openings for Puttshack. Rockwood is a proven leader in the hospitality industry and has more than 20 years of experience leading national restaurant and service brands to excellence and growth in the U.S. He has held executive positions with Roy’s Restaurants, Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group and Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas.
“I’m thrilled to join the Puttshack team, leveraging technology to drive the guest experience and create dynamic, diverse, amazing work environments for our associates,” adds Rockwood. “I firmly believe our ability to attract and work with the best people in the industry sets Puttshack apart from the rest.”
Rockwood is joined by Keith Strew, who will become Vice President of Learning & Organizational Development, building training and coaching strategy, and leading organizational development across Puttshack’s current and upcoming locations. Strew is a seasoned executive, who most recently led training and development at Uncle Julio’s Corporation and Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, where he was for more than a decade.
“I’m passionate about inspiring and building teams as we grow the Puttshack brand across the country,” says Strew. “I look forward to leading a team that strives to attract a diverse group of fun, passionate hospitality associates who care deeply about creating an elevated, one-of-a-kind guest experience.”
Ben Shepherd joined Puttshack as Executive Vice President of Software Engineering & Architecture, where he has been leading development of Puttshack’s proprietary gaming software as well as its information and cloud architecture globally. With more than 20 years of experience in software and hardware engineering and information technology, Shepherd has held key leadership roles and built solutions for Fortune 500 companies, including Hilton and Lexmark as well as emerging startups. A driven entrepreneur and inventor, Shepherd also co-founded a mobile software development company and holds multiple U.S. patents.
“Puttshack is committed to connecting technology with the traditional game of mini golf and creating unprecedented experiences for our guests,” says Shepherd. “I’m excited to rapidly expand our U.S. and U.K. engineering teams and further build Puttshack’s unique technology to enhance its full triple threat experience across mini golf, dining and the overall guest experience.”
Shannon Silva joins Puttshack as National Director of Group Sales, in which she will be responsible for building the event sales strategy and leading departmental growth across current and upcoming Puttshack locations in the U.S. Silva is a commendable leader with over 20 years in hospitality sales and was instrumental in the national growth of the event sales program at Punch Bowl Social.
“With current locations in Atlanta and Chicago, new ones opening in Boston and Miami this summer, and nine others to open through 2023, there’s incredible potential for growth for Puttshack across the U.S.,” adds Silva. “I look forward to paving the path on sales strategies and make Puttshack top of mind when it comes to hosting a celebration or corporate event.”
Puttshack combines the only tech-forward mini golf game, powered by the brand’s leading patented Trackaball technology, with an innovative, globally inspired dining experience that takes its guests on a culinary journey of flavor equally matched by a mixologist-obsessed beverage program made from the finest ingredients. Each of Puttshack’s upscale entertainment spaces offers multiple semi- and fully private event spaces for exclusive parties and include full-service bars.
Puttshack successfully opened its first two U.S. locations in Atlanta and Chicago in 2021, which continue to outperform all success metrics, and join the brand’s four hugely popular London locations. New locations in the U.S. will open this summer in Boston and Miami, followed by Dallas, Denver, Houston, Nashville, Scottsdale, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and its second Atlanta location into 2023.
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